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Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post
So the seller asks that you contact him if you've got any question, but actually configured his eBay profile so that he cannot be contacted by a potential customer (cannot be contacted anymore, since Kid managed to do it in the past). I personally find this a little disturbing.
...this same issue occurred earlier with potential buyers in both France and Australia...until Peter added "Europe, Canada, Australia " to his "Ships to" list on the auction, those buyers were denied access to buying or asking direct questions...if you are in Asia, then that is probably the issue...

...in the meantime, I just sent a question to Peter via the "Ask a question" link on the auction with no problem, since I'm located within his "Ships to" list (part of eBay's automatic shipping calculator feature)...I will PM you with Peter's email address so that you may circumvent the eBay filter...

...just in case you haven't checked Stellar's feedback info on eBay, Peter's been selling on eBay since 2003 with 100% positive feedback...I bought my first Stellar ribbon mic from him about 5 years ago...in my experience, his customer service has always been quite good...
Old 2nd January 2011
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...this same issue occurred earlier with potential buyers in both France and Australia...until Peter added "Europe, Canada, Australia " to his "Ships to" list on the auction, those buyers were denied access to buying or asking direct questions...if you are in Asia, then that is probably the issue...
Gotcha. It won't be the first time that my physical location causes me online grief. Very often, when I connect to a page, it all appears in Chinese, even though I can't read more than a few characters. Most of these pages let you switch to English easily, but others ... do not. A real bother for the international traveler.

Google, notably, only lets you switch to English if you know enough Chinese (英文, at the very least). It's a pain each time I clean my computer and the cookies are erased.

A few websites don't let you access their English pages at all. Even if you type the address of a page in English, you find yourself redirected to the equivalent page in Chinese. No if no but. A royal pain in the ... 屁股.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...in the meantime, I just sent a question to Peter via the "Ask a question" link on the auction with no problem, since I'm located within his "Ships to" list (part of eBay's automatic shipping calculator feature)...I will PM you with Peter's email address so that you may circumvent the eBay filter...
Thanks. As you know by now, I did receive your PM. I wanted to PM you, actually, before I posted publicly, but used the GS "email" function instead. I didn't realize it before sending my message; then I decided it'd work just as well, and that I shouldn't send you a PM too.

Only PMs seem more reliable than emails.

[Edit:] As Kidvybes discreetly pointed out to me in a PM, it wasn't an email problem, it was a human problem. And the human culprit ... is me. I used an old email address of mine when I registered on GS, as a precaution against spam; after making sure that GS was safe, I should have entered an email address I check more than once in a blue moon, but ... I forgot. I'll do that right now.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post
Gotcha. It won't be the first time that my physical location causes me online grief. Very often, when I connect to a page, it all appears in Chinese, even thsough I can't read more than a few characters. Most of these pages let you switch to English easily, but others ... do not. A real bother for the international traveler.
...OK...Peter at Stellar has now updated the "Ships to" listing to "worldwide", so all those who have questions about the CM-6 can access all the auction features, including "Ask a question"...
Old 3rd January 2011
  #64
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Kid - since you're in regular contact and represent Peter here, why not ask him to visit in person? I'm sure folks would like to meet and talk with him.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #65
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
Kid - since you're in regular contact and represent Peter here, why not ask him to visit in person? I'm sure folks would like to meet and talk with him.
Good idea- considering that Peter (of Stellar) has not responded to any of my 3 emails! Maybe it was because I wasn't placing an order- he seems to only reply to those emails.

But it is bad form Michael, to suggest that kidvybes represents anyone other than himself.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #66
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...I have passed the request on to Peter (I don't know if he's a GS member as yet)...it will be his choice to join the thread, of course...and while I've assisted in contacting Peter on occassion, I don't "represent" him or Stellar...just an enthusiastic owner of the CM-6, letting others know about the outstanding value of this product, which I have done in the past with other similar budget priced gear (for instance, as Michael Joly and I jointly did with the MXL 2003A)...
Old 3rd January 2011
  #67
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Point taken.

Perhaps I should have said Kidvybes occasionally "answers for" or "appears to have direct access to". "Represents" was shorthand for those meanings (I like to fit a post on one line if possible to balance my other long-winded posts) with no implication that Kidbybes "works for" or is "an agent of" Peter.

Whenever a company achieves a reported price / performance breakthrough in their field of activity the public enjoys hearing the story directly from those responsible. That's all I was getting at, and it seems that Kidvybes is a quick and reliable "conduit" to Peter Bloch.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #68
Registered User
 

Al-righty then.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #69
Gear Head
 

It looks like his business is doing pretty well so far without becoming a "personality" here on GS.

Company heads have rarely enticed anyone to buy anything, and in fact, as Joly has shown, the effect can be quite the opposite.

I'd recommend he stays busy making quality products at a fair price and stay out of the maelstrom.
Old 4th January 2011
  #70
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to: the vault
...please keep your posts on topic and avoid bringing any irrelevent personal references into the thread...

...first it should be understood that Peter Bloch of Stellar Sounds is a full-time professional Electronics Engineer with a day job...Stellar is a labor of love for him...so while he may not be available to answer emails 24-7, this microphone line is his passion...he is committed to the quality of his products...the circuit design in the CM-6 was developed by Peter and was first made available over a year ago...

...as to whether Peter needs to have a presence on GS is of course his own decision...it's true that successful mic designer John Peluso and others like him have chosen to remain rather low-key and let their products speak for themselves...as someone using the CM-6 in a professional recording environment, I will try and provide additional soundfiles as a reference (and I urge other owners of the mic to do the same), for those who find such links as valuable...

...in the meantime, I must reiterate that it is this mic's performance at this particular pricepoint that makes it such an outstanding value...the only other mics I've owned that offer this quality were considerably more costly, and some of those had fixed/soldered tubes (not socketed) which did not allow for easy swapping or upgrading with NOS vintage tubes as I have done with my mic...the difference a simple $20 NOS tube upgrade can make is quite sonically impressive...so, the fact that the CM-6 has a tube "socket", for those of us that are "soldering-challenged", is a wonderful feature...of course, when swapping various vintage tubes, YMMV...
Old 4th January 2011
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
...Company heads have rarely enticed anyone to buy anything, and in fact, as Joly has shown, the effect can be quite the opposite.
Hello Mr. Vault.

One of the near-unknowable pieces of competitive intelligence concerning privately held companies is sales revenue. I'll humbly suggest you have no idea how well any such company is doing regarding sales.

But I'll offer this...my site page views (and that correlates with sales revenue) only continue to increase - and that includes the one night night my "bad cop" self roamed free.

In my opinion, public comments by company heads have a positive effect - at least according to my Google Analytics and sales orders. I can only assume the same benefits would accrue to Peter Bloch should he choose to visit Gearslutz. So why not encourage him to join the membership? Cheers.
Old 4th January 2011
  #72
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Once Again

Edit: Sorry, I was just kidding here! Another thread was shut down due to someone posting about a good deal on a mic somewhere. My apologies....No personal attacks from me Michael.

Happy New Year Everybody!
Mitchell

One more edit since I apparently wasn't clear enough about what I was speaking of. This was a message sent to a GS member who started a thread about a mic that was on sale:

Your thread or post has been edited or deleted because it points to a special offer or discount deal or group buy and it is not allowed to publish these on the forum. The reason is that we want to keep the forum free from discount price wars and to concentrate more on discussions. Manufacturers, dealers and group buy organizers are welcome to contact GS admin for information on how to promote things. You have not been banned - or given a 'point' infraction - this is just a polite reminder not to do it again. Many thanks, GS moderation"

So, "price war" was the moderator's term for someone posting about a good mic at a good price. THAT is what I was referring to. So I guess posting about a mic that isn't on sale, but is still a good buy, is aok. So, if somehow this mic goes down in price, we can't discuss it. Any contemplation of "special offers" (does that count mods?) on this/any mic would seem to be verboten as well(?). Just asking because, I was under the impression that we were trying to help each other out here, but I may have been wrong in my assumption.
Old 4th January 2011
  #73
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

News about a direct eBay sale mic (no price war can follow) is not going to bring down this thread. Personal attacks will.
Old 4th January 2011
  #74
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Good idea- considering that Peter (of Stellar) has not responded to any of my 3 emails! Maybe it was because I wasn't placing an order- he seems to only reply to those emails.

But it is bad form Michael, to suggest that kidvybes represents anyone other than himself.
Sorry man. Wish I could help. But other than saying the mics are great, they're worth the money and my experience was a bit different than yours, I got nothing. Hopefully you can get your questions answered to your satisfaction and all will be right with the world. As good as it can get anyway at this point.

Cheers!
Mitchell
Old 4th January 2011
  #75
Gear Head
 

Quote:
In my opinion, public comments by company heads have a positive effect -
you're entitled to your opinion.
Quote:
I can only assume the same benefits would accrue to Peter Bloch should he choose to visit Gearslutz.
He's already benefiting without even being here.
Old 4th January 2011
  #76
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
Hey kid, I noticed you mentioned the Lundahl trans and capsule upgrade on the Stellar in the other thread.
Are you saying that's an option that HE has, or the manufacturer he buys from?
Did you get any prices BTW?
...the upgrades you're referring to are the component upgrades being offered on the Chinese manufacturer's end...but there are better quality options being developed right here on American soil...

...Jim at JJ Audio is currently working on these CM-6 upgrade options...the capsule he is recommending is the new European hand-skinned JJT67 capsule...you can hear a demo of the new capsule (compared with a Neumann Thiersch-skinned K67) here:
JJ Audio JJT67 VS Neumann K67

...there are minor circuit revisions to better match the upgraded capsule and the transformer being used is a Tab Funkenwerks model designed by Oliver Archut...Jim is in the process of upgrading the first CM-6 for a client and demo files will be made available for auditioning...also included in this upgrade is a complete power supply rebuild with higher grade components and ferrite beads for additional filtering...

...quotes for the various upgrades can be acquired directly from JJ Audio...
Old 4th January 2011
  #77
Gear Maniac
 

Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!

Peter at stellar is very busy working on some amazing mic's, I spoke to Peter last night I advise him to stay away from the threads if he can. I who is a happy owner of the Stellar CM-6 will gladly express my honest review of the mic every chance I get. Stellar have sold a lot of mic's lately I'm sure many others will follow with reviews on how great the mic is for the price. Peter is doing extremly well without being here on GS. If you guys think the CM-6 is a great mic wait until you see what he have coming out next. I will post picture and sound clips as soon as I get the shipment from Peter. I wish all a healthy new year.
Old 4th January 2011
  #78
Gear Head
 

I find this whole topic very interesting when you think about it, and almost a study in psychology.
We are never satisfied and never will be.
As long as someone says what THEY have is better, that little thing in your brain will make you think you need it.

Stellar bought the mic for $100, does his upgrades and sells it for $350.
JJ Audio will take his upgrades, pull them out (what does he do with the pulled out upgrades?), then put in HIS upgrades.
For what price, no-one knows yet.
I assume another modder will come along and say HIS mod is better than JJ's, then pull those out and upgrade it again. Maybe Klaus Heyne? David Bock? Beez Neez?
When does this stop?
The definition of "better" keeps moving into the horizon.
ALL gear is like this, there's ALWAYS an upgrade for every product we own.
Reminds me of a neighbor I had with a 74' Ford Pinto, with a 454 engine and a blower putting out over 500 horsepower...in a Pinto! He was still trying to eek out another 20 horsepower from a new "fuel mixture" last time I checked.

What we should be doing is trying to figure out how to quantify the benefits at each level, especially considering how good some of us thought the original Stellar's were.
I wonder how far off the Stellar is from the stock mic. Is this a 30% gain? And then JJ's from Stellars, is this another 30% gain, or 3%, or even less?
I know these are impossible to quantify, I just find it interesting. Roughly 3 weeks after we announce a cool new modder like Stellar, another comes along and says he can do better.
I assume this will only stop when the price of the mods reaches the price of the "mics" most of these are trying to mimic or copy.
So I guess we have a few more modders to go till we reach 4k.

Are we all corrupted into making EVERYTHING better? Even the previous things we thought had just been "fixed"?
I'll admit, I've done it myself. I've had older gear upgraded or modded. But to see it happen within the life cycle of the "Stellar" product so FAST, is amazing.

And yes, I'm well aware that it keeps many here in business. And that IS their business model.

I mean no offense to anyone with this post, just a funny trend with no end in sight.

And BTW, if JJ is upgrading Stellar's mod, why not just have JJ buy them direct for $100 from China and do his mod, cut out the Stellar middle man (who's mods will be disregarded anyway) and save the $250 profit we all would have paid Stellar. Then maybe JJ's "fully upgraded" mod will be closer to Stellar's original $350 price, but with "better" components.
Or is that what Stellar is trying to do with his "new" even MORE upgraded CM6? Head off JJ at the pass? Stellar could implement JJ's fixes, and sell it for $250 less then anyone could buy it for if they bought his CM6 then had to have JJ do his mod.

I know, very strange.
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Old 4th January 2011
  #79
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...to keep things simple, I'll just say, it's all about getting the best possible product at a particular pricepoint...no different than buying a car where various upgrade packages are available at different price levels, only with a microphone you can implement those upgrades after owning the mic for years...no different than the mods being offered for a similar well-respected, budget-priced product, the GAP PRE-73 preamp...

...as far as I know, JJ Audio does these kind of upgrades to all different mics, and these particular upgrades were chosen for the CM-6 as a response to an interested client who is having them implemented...I do know that the total cost (including the mic) is less than $1000...but because that pricepoint isn't within everyone's budget, it's nice to have options that offer great performance at varying cost levels...

...considering the quality of components being used by JJ, I'm not sure there's anywhere left to go, as these are the same components already being used in the best of the high-end "boutique" products selling for considerably more...capsules and transformers of this quality cost themselves as much or more than the stock OEM Chinese mic that these modded variations are based upon...

...in essence, "you get what you pay for"...choose your poison...
Old 4th January 2011
  #80
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The mod that we have been asked to do on the Stellar microphone does not take away from the fact that it is a good mic. What I do to mod a microphone like this is to source and install the very best parts available.

This means the very best transformers, capsules, capacitors are used to improve the sound and make the mic the best it can be. As you well know, little changes make big differences in the tonal quality of the mic.

The mod also involves costly parts, transformer,tube, capsule. This particular mod will have a T47 transformer by Tab Funkenwerk, a JJT47 custom capsule, Amperex Bugle Boy EF86,

All of these parts are in the best mics available.

I am not in competition with Peter because we are at a different price point.



Old 4th January 2011
  #81
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EV676's Avatar
The Stellar CM-6 I ordered last week arrived today. Below are some shaky I-phone photos of the microphone.

The microphone was well packed, the storage case is nice. Four observations initially struck me:

1. The mic is hefty and seems to be well constructed.
2. It's easy to take apart, just twist the bottom (connector side) cap off.
3. The shockmount is a nice faux-U-87 type mount that screws into the microphone. The problem is that the microphone doesn't screw into the mount all that easily. I foresee when the threads, particularly the ones inside the mount will strip making the mount useless. I think mine, once vetted will probably stay in the shockmount.
4. The enclosed windscreen is rather fragile. I'm guessing a Windtech for something like an EV RE-20 would fit this mic for those that need a windscreen.

I put power to it about 30 minutes ago and it will cook at least until Thursday morning. I might have a good reason to use it on a guest appearing our morning show. If not I have a voice over talent coming in for a session
(and more importantly lunch) Friday morning. If I get useable audio I'll be glad to share.
Attached Thumbnails
Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-stellar-cm6-box.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-power-supply.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-shockmount.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-guts-1.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-guts-2-tube-side.jpg  

Old 4th January 2011
  #82
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Audio Child's Avatar
 

Very nice! Im gonna order me one of these this month!

Wonder how a Cinemag tranny would sound on this mic.
Old 5th January 2011
  #83
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EV676 View Post
The Stellar CM-6 I ordered last week arrived today. Below are some shaky I-phone photos of the microphone.

The microphone was well packed, the storage case is nice. Four observations initially struck me:

1. The mic is hefty and seems to be well constructed.
2. It's easy to take apart, just twist the bottom (connector side) cap off.
3. The shockmount is a nice faux-U-87 type mount that screws into the microphone. The problem is that the microphone doesn't screw into the mount all that easily. I foresee when the threads, particularly the ones inside the mount will strip making the mount useless. I think mine, once vetted will probably stay in the shockmount.
4. The enclosed windscreen is rather fragile. I'm guessing a Windtech for something like an EV RE-20 would fit this mic for those that need a windscreen.

I put power to it about 30 minutes ago and it will cook at least until Thursday morning. I might have a good reason to use it on a guest appearing our morning show. If not I have a voice over talent coming in for a session
(and more importantly lunch) Friday morning. If I get useable audio I'll be glad to share.
Glad you like it so far. Looking forward to your posting of some clips as well.

Cheers!
Mitchell
Old 5th January 2011
  #84
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
I don't get it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haz-Mat-Strat View Post
The mod that we have been asked to do on the Stellar microphone
Is this a mod you were asked to do or did someone (kidyvibes) ask you to mod the mic?

Or was it actually Langstons idea? Original Kidyvibes Stellar CM6 Post

It seems that you guys were already "brainstorming" how to make this mic better when there were only a few out in the wild?

I mean had you guys even listened to it yet?

The original auction of 6 (I think?) hadn't even sold out yet when your colleague posted about the upgrades.

I can kinda see where Vault (and I think Marik alluded to in another thread as well?) was heading earlier: Modding mics that are already being sold as pre-modded mics.

Why do something twice when it can be done right the first time? And be cheaper in the process?

I mean I guess we all gotta make a living but still...

Funny.

R.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haz-Mat-Strat View Post
The mod that we have been asked to do on the Stellar microphone does not take away from the fact that it is a good mic. What I do to mod a microphone like this is to source and install the very best parts available.

This means the very best transformers, capsules, capacitors are used to improve the sound and make the mic the best it can be. As you well know, little changes make big differences in the tonal quality of the mic.

The mod also involves costly parts, transformer,tube, capsule. This particular mod will have a T47 transformer by Tab Funkenwerk, a JJT47 custom capsule, Amperex Bugle Boy EF86,

All of these parts are in the best mics available.

I am not in competition with Peter because we are at a different price point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov
I can tell you this much.

Considering that the microphone comes in at 350 bucks.....

A person could definitely do some REALLY nice upgrades to a microphone like this and not spend alot of dough.

Think about this.

CM6 $350
Thiersch STW 7 $350??? / (That new capsule I told you about kid) $275
Samar Audio BV8 torroidal TX $~100???

$750 !!!!!/$675!!!

MAMA MIA!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Thanks for the airplay kidvybes! LOL

As far as the boutique upgrades, I'm talking best possible parts on a great starter platform.

What we're proposing (still brainstorming) is:

New K67/K47 capsule from the best house on the planet.

Sick transformer from one of the best sources around.

Circuit tweaks/improvements and then some.

And make it Crazy Eddie affordable.

BTW I highly highly highly recommend a NOS EF86. They are definitely worth the coin.

Peace
Illumination
Old 5th January 2011
  #85
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Man, am I glad to see someone else reading between the lines and asking some probing questions - saves me from getting flamed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
I don't get it...



Is this a mod you were asked to do or did someone (kidyvibes) ask you to mod the mic?

Or was it actually Langstons idea? Original Kidyvibes Stellar CM6 Post

It seems that you guys were already "brainstorming" how to make this mic better when there were only a few out in the wild?

I mean had you guys even listened to it yet?

The original auction of 6 (I think?) hadn't even sold out yet when your colleague posted about the upgrades.

I can kinda see where Vault (and I think Marik alluded to in another thread as well?) was heading earlier: Modding mics that are already being sold as pre-modded mics.

Why do something twice when it can be done right the first time? And be cheaper in the process?

I mean I guess we all gotta make a living but still...

Funny.

R.
Old 5th January 2011
  #86
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Haz-Mat-Strat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
I don't get it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post



Is this a mod you were asked to do or did someone (kidyvibes) ask you to mod the mic?

Or was it actually Langstons idea? Original Kidyvibes Stellar CM6 Post

It seems that you guys were already "brainstorming" how to make this mic better when there were only a few out in the wild?

I mean had you guys even listened to it yet?

The original auction of 6 (I think?) hadn't even sold out yet when your colleague posted about the upgrades.

I can kinda see where Vault (and I think Marik alluded to in another thread as well?) was heading earlier: Modding mics that are already being sold as pre-modded mics.

Why do something twice when it can be done right the first time? And be cheaper in the process?

I mean I guess we all gotta make a living but still...

Funny.

R.

I was asked by a client to purchase the mic and mod it.

There is not a high part count in this mic. I like mics like this because they have a cleaner signal path.

The mod consists of: Better tube, transformer and capsule. Better transformer coupling capacitor. Rebuild the power supply. I will also custom tune the circuit. There are also some voltages that I changed to tweak the circuit. I will also slightly under heat the filament (5.7vdc vs 6.3vdc) .

I have the mic and the stock mic sound is good. I have made some changes and the mic sounds better already.





Old 5th January 2011
  #87
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
Is this a mod you were asked to do or did someone (kidyvibes) ask you to mod the mic?

Or was it actually Langstons idea?

The original auction of 6 (I think?) hadn't even sold out yet when your colleague posted about the upgrades.
...actually the original auction was for 10...that sold out, and another auction set of 6 were put up and then later supplemented by 3 more...other CM-6 mics were also sold outside the eBay link to accommodate international buyers as well...

...I think you missed the point I alluded to earlier...there are many different grades of mods at differing pricepoints...Ben Sneesby made a name for himself modding other mics like Pelusos before coming out with his own Beesneez line...Dave Thomas' Advanced Audio mics are offered with top quality Chinese capsules, but you also have the option of choosing an upgraded Peluso capsule for a considerably higher pricepoint...

...it's not unusual to see mics costing well over $1000 having their capsules upgraded with Tim Campbell or Thiersch capsules...the $350 CM-6 is significantly upgraded from the $220 Chinese OEM Nady 1050...that serves the low-end market well, but doesn't preclude someone from replacing the best Chinese capsule with a markedly better European-skinned one...transformers, power supply tweaks, paper-in-oil capacitors, vintage NOS tubes, etc...

...it comes down to understanding there are many levels of modification that can incorporate single components that cost more than the original OEM mic itself...the more you know about "modding" the more clearly you can differentiate cost-to-performance ratios, which is a subjective matter at best...to each their own...
Old 5th January 2011
  #88
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

I may have misunderstood - but I thought Ol'Bestsy was not commenting on total number of mics sold, but rather how quickly the "mod to a mod" appeared right after the mic was introduced.
Old 5th January 2011
  #89
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Audio Child's Avatar
 

MJ i think its time to get a cheap hit mic on your hands with some nice modding options!
Old 5th January 2011
  #90
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Nah. That mic was "mod'd at the factory". But you're right - in today's downscaled music business selling 10 or so units is a hit!
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